Buying a car is not easy. There are so many items on the checklist that you need to cover prior to making a decision. Whatever your choice is, always consider to take a cautious approach towards car shopping.
Could you be scammed if you buy a car online? In a nutshell, yes – although we now have the tools to ensure we make educated decisions when completing a vehicle-related transaction online.
With the amount of tools and research resources available online, we can check, compare and address reviews to help us make well-thought-out decisions and protect ourselves from scams when buying a car.
Common Types Of ‘Buy Your Car’ Scams
That being said, does the Internet offer the safest platform for online car shoppers? Not really. Many shady scammers are always ready to ruin your experience and make you exit at a huge loss.
Even some of the most trusted websites have been used to facilitate transactions involved with car buying scams including PayPal, Amazon and Craigslist.
Craigslist Car Buying Scams
For instance, if you register on Craigslist to explore some car buying choices, heed caution and be sure to tread lightly while maintaining an heir of skepticism.
Scammers are getting way more sophisticated about using Craigslist, so always be cautious. No one is immune to car buying scams.
How To Buy A Car On Craigslist Without Getting Scammed
After we’ve done our research and are one step closer to making a purchase, there are a few tell-tale signs of which to be wary.
Primarily, you want to avoid unexpected super deals and engaging in overseas transactions – especially when the seller is persistently pushing you toward a purchase and requesting money.
Many buyers fall victim to this type of international scam, but never sign a deal even the deal appears to be too good to be true.
Once they come into an agreement, the seller request front payment before shipping the car into the country.
They often ask for wire transfers and/or bank-to-bank transfers. After making the payment, you won’t hear from them anymore and you end up facing a complete loss.
Escrow Scams When Buying A Car Online
Here the victim sells a vehicle online, where a “potential” buyer agrees to the purchase of the vehicle.
Once the scammer decides to close the deal, the “buyer” sends a check with an additional amount to cover the shipping expenses.
Scammers tend to say that they are located in another country before proceeding with the shipment process.
Once the person ships the vehicle, the seller goes to the bank and realize that the check bounces. The buyer breaks contact and cannot be reached any longer.
eBay, Amazon & Gumtree Car Buying Scams
This type of scam follows two steps.
First, the seller let car buyers know about the sale of a vehicle through an online platform.
Car buyers reply to that ad, making further questions about transaction and shipping methods.
Of course, the fake “seller” says that the transaction will be handled by an escrow service.
By justifying this method, scammers make people believe they are safe, but they aren’t.
Note that scammers will offer to ship the vehicle once the payment is made. When the legitimate buyers send the money as part of the agreement, the seller is never heard from again.
Avoiding Scams When Buying A Car
It’s very frustrating to become a victim but do your homework. Always stay alert, make some research, and trust your intuition.
Normally, scammers are reluctant to meet or even speak on the phone. Watch out and set the rules that best favor your buying and selling needs.